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Friday 13th December 2002

Friday the 13th, and our journey begins! I'm no Triskaidekaphobic, but I'm not too sure about Julie! On top of it all, I also broke a mirror yesterday, but I'm keeping quiet about that one!

We left around 2:45pm, a little later then planned as we spent the morning rushing around, wrapping presents, writing Christmas cards, and tidying the house. These were chores we should have done last night, but we chose instead to watch the Bond film 'From Russia With Love'. Only to be disappointed to discover that the film was set in Istanbul and Venice!

After a brief pit stop at Llandudno Junction to fill up with petrol and to fill up with KFC and Pizza Hut, (oh, and to pre-book cinema tickets to Lord Of The Rings - The Two Towers) we finally hit the road at 3:30pm. The drive down was surprisingly hassle free, even breezing through Birmingham with only minimal delays, and this was 5pm-6pm rush hour! Within no time we reached Heathrow. The 220 mile journey had taken us 5 ½ hours. Who's afraid of Friday the 13th?!

We checked-in, and walked to almost the furthest point of the hotel from the reception, room 3620. The smell of fresh paint and contemporary design made us think it may be a new wing, but the letter left outside our door warning us that the electricity will be off between 1:30am and 4:30am for 'essential maintenance' maybe indicated that they weren't even finished yet!

We popped down to the bar for 2 pints of Grolsch, but they cost an absolute fortune! At £2.95 they were expensive, but with the automatic 12 ½ % service charge slapped on top it was day light robbery! I wouldn't have minded, but the barmaid didn't even smile!

We quickly returned to our room before it cost us any more. We watched the Final of Fame Academy, the singer/songwriter talent contest on the BBC. Julie phoned in her vote for rock chick Sinead, but it wasn't enough as Scottish crooner David won.

We set our alarms for 4:30am, and also booked a wake-up call for 4:15am. At 11pm, instead of going to sleep as any sensible person would, we followed Julie's game plan of 'staying awake for as long as possible so that she can be tired and fall asleep on the plane' and we watched a film called 'Once Upon a Time in the Midlands'. With a strong cast of Ricky Tomlinson, Kathy Burke, Robert Carlisle and Rhys Ifans it was guaranteed to be funny!

Julie was certainly very apprehensive about tomorrow's flight, and I was desperately fighting my urge to tell a joke about "Heathrow" only being a G, an F and an E away from "Deathrow". Fortunately Julie fell asleep before I blurted it out.

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